BY CHERYL TAY
23 September 2011
In a sporting fraternity dominated by dashing playboys and stunning bombshells, Adrian Sutil is the rare Formula One driver who disdains that kind of flamboyant lifestyle.
Indeed, the 28-year-old Force India driver used to say that he preferred to stay single so that he can focus on racing. However, things have changed.
“At the moment, I am in good hands, and I found a good girl,” the German said with a smile. “If it happens, it happens.”
Not surprisingly, he is also a reluctant man when it comes to dealing with the media and sponsor circus that come with F1.
“The press work gets a little bit annoying. We just want to race and that’s why I came into the sport,” he said.
“I just want to drive the cars to the limit and show everyone how good I am. There’s a commercial side to the sport, and I understand. But that is work to me, not pleasure.”
And what profession would he see himself in if he wasn’t an F1 race driver?
“I would be a stuntman for movies in Hollywood,” he said. “My second dream, before racing, was to be an actor. In F1, you are already an actor anyway; acting with all the press and not being able to say what you really want to sometimes.”
It is little wonder that not much is known about Sutil, even though he has been racing on the F1 circuits since 2007.
But then, he was always mired in lowly teams like Spyker, Force India’s previous incarnation.
With billionaire Indian owner Vijay Mallya pouring millions into the team, Force India has risen from being a bottom team to a respectable middle-grid team, although Sutil feels that more could be done in F1 for a more level playing field.
He said: “The difference between cars is so big and it’ll always be like that, but at least it is much better now than it was in the past.
“As a driver, you always want to have a car that’s able to win, and that’s possible only if you are in the right team. They are (going) in the right direction to try and make teams more equal, but maybe the process could be a bit quicker.”
No doubt, Sutil is a purist when it comes to F1 racing – completely focused on the racing aspects.
It’s no wonder that he lists Fernando Alonso or Lewis Hamilton – two of the most talented drivers on the grid – as whom he most prefers to be teammates with.
“I want to challenge those guys,” he said.
At the end of the day, the German remains down-to-earth and disarmingly honest.
When asked whether he prefers to race at night, like what he will be doing this weekend, he said: “I prefer to drive in the daytime, when we are fresher. We want to perform as best as possible and it’s a bit difficult to do that in a night race.
“We are not Superman, we do get tired.”
*This was first published in My Paper.